to the house we once lived in together.

The sun is descending— flaming ruby
squeezed and pressed
between sapphire-black
nimbostratus and stretch of tidal river

seam of white daylight refracts to walls
stripped of color and breath

except the guest room where my belongings live.

A framed print, like the one my grandfather owned,
hangs on the wall above my father’s chair:

A young woman, head and shoulder bent,
dark hair, thick braided down her back waits
half-ashore in a water-unworthy wooden boat.

She is weary:
from work
from heartache
from hopeful waiting.

I forgot how stark and sterile the house we once lived in is.